I’ve been watching some of the growing criticisms of the Atlas Shrugged – part1 movie and feel it’s time to say something in response. This is going to be one of my rants that is going to piss some people off, but too fucking bad!
I’m going to predicate these comments by saying to those at which it is directed that I know not of your personal histories and experiences so I will phrase as many of them as possible in the form of questions that you might wish to consider when laying your criticisms of the film.
I further wish this post to be my salute to the producers, investors, actors, studios, stage hands, grips, gaffers and anyone else who helped make this film possible with my highest of regards for their hard work.
So to those laying criticisms….
The attempts to bring Atlas Shrugged to the big screen has been an on-going process that has been as such for over 30 years. How many of you condemning this movie have invested in any of these efforts? Either intellectually or financially?
The book itself, in it’s unabridged form is over 50 hours in length in it’s audio version. The film will at most be around 6 hours. What do you expect when you comment on how things are being ‘left out’?
Movies are movies. Books are books. Movies have to make money. People that flock to movies significantly enough to raise earnings for them are different than the types of people that flock to read books. Short of the joys of seeing ‘anything’ Rand up on the big screen again, what can you possibly expect from the ‘business’ of movies beyond an adaptation?
But again, and still the most important question… I need not know ‘what’ you would have done differently. You make that clear with your comments. But if you have criticisms of the ‘result’ – what did you personally DO to create a different one? And if the answer is what I suspect, how dare you sit back in the bleachers now shouting insults at the man willing to actually stand on the arena floor?
It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and
who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt from his ‘Citizenship in a Republic‘ speech
So to any that wish to criticize the movie as either ‘bad for objectivism’ or a ‘waste of money’, let me first point out that google trends showed ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as the top search most of the day on Friday’s release date. (Ayn Rand was also in the top 10) and the book is floating between #1-#2 in a couple of different categories on Amazon.com. (it’s also up to #12 in their top 100 overall list) Both have surged before, but generally as a result of things like Obama getting elected or the passing of comprehensive health care reform. It’s nice to see interest surging because of a ‘pro-‘ influence for a change.
The second thing I wish to point out is that when you release your adaptation I will happily review it as well. Until then I personally find the ‘waste your money’ comments completely unjustified, reckless and self-defeating in lieu of the evidence that it ‘is’ increasing interest in the ideas behind the book.